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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: New Potato Caboose

(edited to add a show I forgot, apologies for the bump)

By the time they recorded their first album, the Dead had few 'jam-songs' of the kind they would become known for, and all those were covers - Viola Lee, Dancing in the Streets, Midnight Hour, Same Thing.... Through 1966 they'd focused mostly on doing covers, and I think Cream Puff War was the only original song they used to take off into a long Garcia solo. But by the time their album was released, they were already unhappy with it as being out-of-date (as Garcia and Lesh said on an April '67 radio show, "it was something we did, it's all over with, the next one certainly won't be like that in any way", and they were already talking about spending much longer in the studio to get well-engineered sounds as well as recording live sets at the Fillmore to capture the live sound they couldn't get in the studio). With constant practice they were getting musically tighter all the time and were eager to try material that was stranger, more complex, more 'psychedelic', and gave more room for jamming. As a result 1967 saw a huge burst of creativity within the Dead: within a seven-month period they started playing Alligator, Lovelight, the Other One suite, Dark Star, China Cat Sunflower, The Eleven, the 'Spanish jam'....and New Potato Caboose.
New Potato is one of the more mellow pieces they did that year, with its wandering pace, the melodic opening guitar riff (only used as the intro), Garcia's sweet fills, Weir's spacy vocals, and the meditative jam. It's unusual for a Dead-song in being a collaboration between Lesh and his beat-poet friend Bobby Petersen (their only one until Mars Hotel), and they seem to have taken pains to make it as weird as they could. I think in late '67 Lesh took a big creative role in the Dead's music; with his background in classical, jazz, and electronic music, he had the strongest impulse to push the music into a more avant-garde direction and create more difficult, challenging pieces to play. The Anthem of the Sun album has Lesh's fingerprints all over it, more so than any other Dead album. As for New Potato, Garcia talked about it in an interview:
"It's a very long thing and it doesn't have a form, in that it doesn't have a verse-chorus form. It has two or three recurring elements, but it doesn't have a recurring pattern; it just changes continually, off of itself and through itself in lots of different ways - rhythmically, the tonality of it, and the chord relationships. There's lots of surprises in it, a lot of fast, difficult transitions. And there are transitions that musically are real awkward. They're not the kind of thing that flows at all, but we're trying to make this happen by taking something that's jarring and making it unjarring. Making it so that it happens without anybody losing their minds when it happens. And just to see if we can do it. As it is, it's a little stilted, cause it's all so utterly odd. But it has its points and I think that's one direction that we'll be able to move successfully in."
The lyrics offer a strange, awkward poetry that Robert Hunter was also exploring in his early Dead songs. But they're arranged in an interesting way: Weir sings (or tries to), and it's a lot like one of his later songs in being rhythmically odd and having unexpected changes in meter. Like Lesh's later songs, it's definitely not a sing-along, and the harmony singing is probably the most difficult thing for people to listen to today! But the harmony shifts are interesting to hear - Lesh is arranging the voices as if they were horns in an instrumental piece (which is the kind of music he'd been composing before). The "all graceful instruments are known" line is sung two different ways, almost medieval-fashion, as a kind of lyrical refrain; the second time it transitions into a circular jam that stays within the framework of the song, but has a soaring, open-ended feel until it closes with some crunchy riffs and a mind-spinning repeated-note finish.

The earliest performance we have is from 8/4/67, and it's totally confident and worked-out, without any hesitation in all the transitions; all the instrumental parts are there, though the jam section is shorter than it would become. Garcia plays a beautiful solo while Lesh slides all over in support.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-08-04.sbd.hanno.16752.sbeok.shnf 6:40

On "5/5/67" New Potato comes out of Golden Road in a surprise segue. (Though dated May, this show is probably from August/September, as you can tell from comparing the Alligator to other shows.) The band sounds completely wasted in their stage banter, so it's amazing how well they play; in fact their jamming is extremely aggressive, so their many hours of 'acid-bonding' while playing have clearly paid off. There's only one point in the jam where they seem a bit confused, but they still blast their way to a note-perfect ending. Lesh is really strong here, almost playing Jack Casady-style lead bass in a duet with Garcia; Weir pretty much sticks to chordal backing.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-05-05.sbs.yerys.1595.sbeok.shnf 9:14

On "1/27/67" the New Potato is incomplete and rather hard to listen to, since Pigpen's keyboards are louder than anything else. No loss though; as it happens, the Morning Dew and New Potato are from the same performance as the 10/22/67 tape, surprisingly captured on two different recordings. (We could probably date the show to late September/October anyway, since Alligator has now picked up its drum intro; I'm not sure if 10/22 is the right date either since Kreutzmann is the only drummer I hear.) In any case, this New Potato is very trippy; Garcia delays his entrance into the jam so his wailing notes have maximum impact when they float in. A couple times Garcia plays the riff to end the song, but then keeps on going - they seem to have practiced this since everyone is right there with him.
Pigpen is very upfront in the mix of all these '67 shows, so we can hear how dominant his playing was in the band's sound. Between Pigpen's shrill organ and Garcia's high-strung guitar, live tapes from this year sometimes have a freewheeling circus-calliope atmosphere. Given Pigpen's limited work later in '69-72, you wouldn't expect him to be playing through a difficult song and jam like New Potato, but he sticks in there all the way through with a well-defined part, and adds a lot to the song which might seem a little bare without him.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1967-01-27.sbd.8762.shnf 8:25/
http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-10-22.sbd.miller.18101.sbeok.shnf 9:38

11/11/67 has a very laid-back New Potato. Some developments in the playing are now standard in each performance: Garcia lays out for a while after the verses while Lesh and Weir build the groove, then glides back in. The pace is a bit slower as the band pokes around the jam; Weir seems to have expanded the range of his guitar part. Again Garcia draws out the ending by playing the closing riff a couple times, then adding a few more solo lines (the effect is a bit like the way they'd wind up Eyes of the World with the repeated synchronized riff in '73) - this part would become especially lengthy later in 1968.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-11-11.sbd.sacks.1613.sbeok.shnf 10:55

The versions of New Potato on the Northwest Tour of 1968 are very similar to each other. Surprisingly, they're not very exploratory - it's the nature of a Dead tune to stretch out over time, but through the tour they seem to be making an effort to keep New Potato within bounds, so it's a bit shorter than it was in '67. (Probably they were thinking of the album length.) The three guitars by now are more balanced, with Weir stepping up a lot more and confidently filling in Garcia's leads. Garcia is more methodical with his solos than in '67 - he starts out slowly and gradually climbs in intensity. The performances generally get better with each show - on 1/17 New Potato starts out a bit ragged, and on 1/22 it's relatively weak with Garcia going nowhere in the jam. But the February versions, 2/3 and 2/14 are quite good; the last one, 2/24 is more laid-back but has some amazing textures going on.
At the start of the tour New Potato shifted around in the set - on 1/17 it opens a medley, and on 1/20 and 1/23 it comes out of Clementine; but in every show thereafter Garcia starts it at the end of the Cryptical suite. They liked the effect of the hypnotic guitar wash emerging from the frantic breakdown of Cryptical, and kept it on the album. In all the shows, they segue from the closing blast of New Potato to the starting bang of Born Cross-Eyed (which they also kept for the album). Strangely, for all the times they did it, they hardly ever got it right though it should have been an easy match, and that segue often sounds clumsy with either a dead stop or a little drum break or Phil nudge to help them re-synchronize at the start of Born Cross-Eyed - finally on 2/14 (the last time) it's a smooth transition.
1/17/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-17.sbd.cotsman.11795.shnf 8:30
1/20/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-01-20.sbd.jools.19470.sbe-fixed.shnf 8:29
1/22/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-01-22.sbd.weiner.8583.sbeok.shnf 7:53
1/23/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-23.sbd.finney.4528.shnf 8:14
2/3/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-02-03.sbd.jools.14987.sbeok.shnf 8:48
2/14/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-02-14.sbd.kaplan.15640.sbeok.shnf 8:37
2/24/68 - Dick's Pick 22 - 8:41
3/17/68 - Download Series - 8:25 (Part of this was apparently used on the album version.)
(A note: the New Potato that's track 6, disc 2 of the 1968 "mystery reels" is actually a different mix of 2/3/68. Perhaps they aborted the segue into Born Cross-Eyed that night?)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-xx-xx.sbd.vernon.9426.sbeok.shnf 8:41

The last Anthem-era New Potato we have is from 3/29/68, one of a series of beautiful audience recordings made at the Carousel (the taper seems to have gone back on several nights, but mostly only caught parts of the shows). It's a gentle, langorous version, the ballroom echo suiting the song well and Garcia's sinuous guitar up-front; it's much like the Northwest performances though he is starting to stretch his solo out at the end a little more. He extends the repeated distorted-chimes figure that was used more briefly before, but would become a climactic highlight of later performances.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-03-29.aud.vernon.9473.sbeok.shnf 9:21

On Anthem of the Sun, the Dead decided to blend studio and live recordings of New Potato - the 'song' part is entirely studio-recorded which allows them to treat it differently than in a live show. They emphasize the musical emergence from chaos by turning the close of Cryptical into a Constanten piano-noise disintegration, and prolonging the opening riff of New Potato. (As Constanten put it, he was to whip the music "into a greater frenzy, ultimately causing it to explode, and out of the rubble of the explosion and the smoke and the ashes and everything would come the delicious sounds of New Potato Caboose." It never sounded quite like that at live shows.) The vocals are sung somewhat differently; the bass wanders in and out; there are many more instruments, including harpsichord, celesta, and a piano or two as well as organ, chimes, and several guitar dubs including an acoustic. But when they reach the 'jam' it switches to a continuous live version (or several edited together), without extra effects except Garcia is sometimes playing two guitars at once. 8:26

Our next New Potato comes from an undated 'mystery show', probably from May '68 (though it has also circulated as 4/3/68). Most noted for having a brutally brief fragment of the earliest-known St Stephen, this show also features a major innovation in the New Potato. Garcia starts the song after easing Cryptical into a quiet, graceful finish (which sounds very mature for the early date). Rather than going into the usual post-lyrics New Potato jam, Lesh starts a pumping bass solo right away that turns into a familiar classical motif, often labeled the jam in thirteens. Unfortunately I can't identify the classical piece he is doing, would appreciate if someone could name it. (The Compendium says it's Chopin's Minute Waltz, but it's not.) Weir joins him with a few chords, but after a couple minutes they end it and the regular New Potato solo starts. Garcia, however, is not very flowing at this show - he didn't add anything to the thirteens jam, and his solo seems disjointed.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-xx-xx.sbd.vernon.9426.sbeok.shnf 10:46
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-05-00.sbd.currier.5427.sbeok.shnf (alternate)
(This is also part of the Archive's 8/23/68, mislabeled '8/29/68'for some reason.)

Mid-1968 is almost a black hole for Dead recordings, so the next versions are from a few months later, at the monstrous August shows. In 8/22/68 an amazing New Potato comes out of a slow, lovely Cryptical jam; Phil has really expanded his solo so it goes for several minutes, supported by some chimes from Garcia and Pigpen and nice feedback waves from Weir. When the classical theme starts, everyone lifts it up with great staccato rhythmic chords, turning it into one of the Dead's most exhilarating moments; Weir in particular stands out, doubling Lesh's lines. They take it down for Garcia's solo - he seems quiet and laid-back at first, but they carefully build up into two more outstanding climaxes that are new to the song, climbing to a roar and then dropping down again, before the usual grand finish.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-08-22.sbd.cotsman.14915.sbeok.shnf 14:18

The 8/24/68 New Potato emerges again from a very sweet Cryptical jam. The song is nearly identical to 8/22, except that the Dead are more energized so it has even more drive. Lesh is booming in his solo, and teases the classical theme for a little while as the rest of the band drops in delicate noises and feedback; when they finally lock into it the effect is joyous. Garcia's jam ebbs and swells, the band swerving with him as he blazes into his cascading climaxes. This is the most transcendental version. (It's also unusual for going into Lovelight at the end, instead of Alligator as was common in this period.)
I might add that by now, Pigpen's style has changed - he's a lot more subdued on keyboards, or perhaps just sounds like it since he's now low in the mix, but his tone is different, blending in more with the others, and he seems to be playing a few notes at a time rather than the huge chords he was blasting a year earlier. (This is our last New Potato in which he plays at all.)
Two From The Vault 14:16

New Potato had found its permanent place following the Cryptical suite in a medley; but while Cryptical continued to grow (doubling in size in '68), New Potato had reached its farthest limit. The next few versions from the fall are disappointing. 10/12/68 is one of the best shows of '68, but does not have a top New Potato. The drummers are going wild with crashing cymbals, but there's some hesitation before Lesh starts his solo, and they only jam on it for three minutes - it's fast, delicious and dense and shows how strongly they must have been performing it in those months, but it rapidly breaks down for some reason into a drum solo, and they return with a great Caution-type jam.
By a cruel quirk of fate, the New Potato jams on both 10/13 and 11/1 are obliterated by tapecuts. 11/22 has a nice version - Lesh's solo is a standout, though Garcia's is shortened - but the distant, muffled audience tape is a challenge to listen to or enjoy.
10/12/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-10-12.sbd.eD.10909.sbeok.shnf 6:39
10/13/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-10-13.sbd.eD.10910.sbeok.shnf 2:58/
11/1/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-11-01.sbd.cotsman.18100.sbeok.shnf 2:20/
11/22/68 - http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-11-22.aud.cotsman.10088.sbeok.shnf 11:43

12/7/68 has some standout performances in spite of the sound problems they were having, and features another classic New Potato along with the only live Rosemary. Cryptical winds down delicately into an energetic Caboose. There's a new, dramatic entry into the jam: after the vocals everybody sings "whooaaa!" (first heard on 10/12), which remains a neat part of the song in the following versions. Lesh's solo is exciting and fast-paced, and a bit more sloppy than in August as the others don't always stay in synch. Garcia's solo is beautiful, as he's starting to play his lines in a different way (including one short volume-swell section), and he lingers on the Viola Lee-style spiraling climax. He drops out for a bit as new player Tom Constanten takes a brief solo spot; but though New Potato seems ideally suited for Constanten to add his baroque decorations, he never contributed to this song, perhaps feeling there wasn't room for him.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-12-07.sbd.naines.16944.sbeok.shnf 14:10

While New Potato had been a constant in the setlists of '67 and '68, in 1969 we only have three known performances. On 1/24/69 the Cryptical drops down to quietness before Garcia decides to start New Potato - it's a bit tentative in spots, so Lesh bludgeons his way into a sloppy solo. The measured grace this section had in August has gone missing, as the band offers only indifferent support, Weir really stumbling around at the end of the solo. Garcia's section is still performed well though, as he coaxes the band into a nice spiraling climax. Note how different New Potato sounds now that Pigpen's not playing and the song is guitars-only - Constanten is barely audible.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-01-24.sbd.kaplan.7922.sbeok.shnf 13:21

On 3/1/69 they played an intense set, but the New Potato is still rusty, showing how rarely they were playing it then. Check out, for instance, how slow the band are in backing the classical theme; Weir screws up again at the end of Lesh's solo, finally giving up on even finding the right notes. Garcia's solo is pretty short this time, and he seems in a hurry to end it, catching the band unprepared when he starts the closing riff. The spiraling climax is still very cool though, especially the way they come out of it.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-03-01.sbd.16track.kaplan.4030.sbeok.shnf (reviews only) 11:37

The first set of 6/8/69 is a remarkable, unique medley of Dancing in the Streets>He Was A Friend of Mine>China Cat Sunflower>New Potato Caboose. One would think that the final New Potato would be a shambles as the band tried to remember this dusty song - far from it, they must have played it recently, for it's a really good version, carefully performed. The band backs Lesh's solo perfectly this time; Garcia enters his solo triumphantly, and takes it to some interesting places; he hangs on for an intensely long climax, and the band swaggers to a joyful finish. It's too bad, after this almost note-perfect rendition, that the band would abandon New Potato; but they were returning in mid-'69 to simpler, more folksy material, and may have felt that this psychedelic piece with its complicated harmonies, tempo changes and demanding structure was no longer as enjoyable to play.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-06-08.sbd.cotsman.19285.sbeok.shnf 13:15

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2008-08-25 19:42:26

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2008-08-25 19:48:08

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Aug 25, 2008 8:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Thanks Light into Ashes

The New Potato Caboose derailed my 72 day in history for a while - quite a nice write up.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 25, 2008 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Ah, May of 68 surfaces again!

Good deal, my friend. Credenza and chifarobe awards await...

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Poster: high flow Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

3 cheers for light into ashes! Thanks.

You have really offered some fantastic information.

NPC is not uncharted territory, but it nice to have a tour guide while there.

Your hard work is appreciated!:)

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 25, 2008 10:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

I'm borrowing that Phil release with jorma and Pete Sears. I listened to disc 2 with a great Dupree's and also a jam into new Potato 9 see this is relevant). i must say it was quite enjoyable. I'm not a big fan of listening to post GD stuff ( although I know I would love to be there experiencing it )but those first few Phil lineups were great.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

no apologies necessary, this is a fantastic post and it should be at the top for an extended period of time.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

i have a strange craving for some fries

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

funny, i was thinking more about a caboose! Not yours though.....

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Aug 25, 2008 1:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

oh sure, just go ahead and hurt my feelings willy-nilly with no thought to the hurtful things you are saying.

i have a fine..... never mind, i'm creeping myself out.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Aug 25, 2008 1:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

New Potato is not about Cows is it?

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Aug 25, 2008 1:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

hmmmmm.. that could lend itself to a very interesting analysis (no play with "anal..." intended)

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Poster: redwinter Date: Dec 26, 2008 12:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

I think New Potato is a Catholic hymn with a pagan jam. Lyrically, I believe it is about what happens when a positive light dies out.

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Aug 25, 2008 6:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Thanks for taking the time on this. Great post. This is why I frequent this forum.

Attachment: ____.gif

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Poster: Donnie L. Date: Aug 25, 2008 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

excellent post...one of the aspects I find interesting about the early period of the GD at the time of the second album and a little bit after that is the strife that went on in the band...from what I've read...garcia had some issues with not only personalities but artistic creation in the band...there was the infamous jerry "pushing" phil down the stairs after the 02-14-68 show...supposedly phil was a pri-madonna kind of thing and garcia got really pissed and a "fight" ensued over the contention that jerry believed that phil didn't want to "work" at his role

and there was the issue with pigpen not being that open to psycheldelic or music that wasn't root based...the matrix shows with mickey hart and the hartbeats were try outs for different types of bands and players...however, even jerry knew the combonation of the people had a certain sound and it wasn't worth throwing it away, and they still had alot of obligations with record companies...often times the recording contracts make band's survive as it was in this case...had they quit I'm not sure if everybody would have been sued and owed alot of money...great way to get a name in the biz....

when you do look at this period of the GD...the music took upon the "progressive" rock approach way before it's real hey day of YES some ten years later in the mid 70's when the term "progressive" came common in rock...mickey hart and phil lesh's formal musical training really helped the GD formalize many of these tunes with complicated time signatures and tonalities...jerry couldn't do it all on his own...he learned alot about music at this point..at one time he was going to LA to study informally with jazz/studio great Howard Roberts, as Joe Walsh did too, and a handful of other guitarists too...

if you really look at pop music in the late 60's the GD were the really ahead of the trends...they were doing some heavy "progressive" music and still exploring the roots with blues and country...alot of people credit the byrds with "sweet heart of the rodeo" with launching the "country rock" movement in rock around the late 60's allowing such acts as the Eagles to cross pollinate country, rock and AM radio playlists..however, I think the GD get's overlooked alot and gets lumped into psychedelic rock becuase they are a SF band from that time period, yes , they began that way, but still stayed in the market very well, the GD weren't the only band to go "disco" in the late 70's , almost everybody did

so, when you look at the GD also look at the big picture in rock and roll history and you'll find actually how much they were a pioneer , not just by modern PA/sound application but also in their music as well...

Donnie L.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2008 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Hmm, I thought Jerry pushed Phil after the 2/14/68 show just 'cause he thought Phil was blanking out & not playing well at the show. (Which, when they heard it later, they both agreed was a good show.) Perhaps I should go check the details again.
I think it's likely Phil was taking more charge of the music that year. And Bob & Pigpen were kicked out around Oct '68 for not being up to snuff (Weir must have been brought back in right away, but it's telling that Pigpen isn't at the Avalon shows). It's also noticeable that Aoxomoxoa is almost entirely a Garcia album.
(As far as Pigpen goes, from being the 'frontman' in '66 he was getting increasingly sidelined, playing less in '68 than in '67, and only doing a few blues numbers - and of course in Nov '68 Phil invited Constanten in to get a more ornate keyboard sound.)
I'm not sure if the Matrix shows were tryouts for other players... I think the guests were already in other bands - Elvin Bishop wasn't about to join the Dead! Jack Casady sits in the most, but his style is very similar to Phil's.

The Dead are often very similar to prog-rock - the Blues for Allah album in '75 is the closest they come - but they had their foot in a lot of camps. San Francisco "psychedelic music" does often get looked down on - and the Dead were certainly in the lead in jamming that kind of music - of course the psychedelic music wave of the '60s didn't last, and '69 was kind of a turning point as psychedelia died off and a lot of the English prog-rock bands like Yes & King Crimson started releasing albums.

The Dead were actually a little late coming to the 'country-rock' thing since other more famous bands (the Byrds, the Band, Dylan) were already doing that in early '69 when the Dead were still in their firmly-psychedelic phase. I wonder if touring with the Flying Burrito Brothers helped encourage the Dead to bring more country into their set? - probably not necessary, Jerry & Bob in particular already loved that kind of music.

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Poster: Donnie L. Date: Aug 26, 2008 7:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

yeah, I've always wondered what the deal was with garcia shoving lesh down the stairs...I don't know if we will ever know...and I can't recall where I read it, could have been in phil's book...but I recall that phil thought he didn't really have to play all that great or intensely, I guess the gesalt argument that while your playing music the musician can ponder what they will eat on their break, believe as a musician myself...I've been there, alot of the GD's music during that time was often the same set lists...this happens to all kinds of artists on rundunant performances....garcia wouldn't have it for some reason, evidently he didn't like Lesh's attitude or demeanor...usually in argument that leads to such a conclusion it's not what's is said , it's how it said...I didn't know garcia but I think he's a pretty easy going guy, but at the same time he didn't take shit either ,and had some balls from time to time...a person isn't bandleader without those qualities...and garcia was the bandleader even at times he said he wasn't but he was, and that's been said by others in the band as well, and co-workers....

as for the era , I agree many of the SF bands got a stereotype from the psychedelic movement...even starship broke out of that with balin's pop hit , can't remember the tune name in the early 70's.."miracles" maybe...that was a AM radio hit even...hell, I like the starship in the 80's too! but anyway, I do think Lesh had a major role in the "progressive" aspect of anthem, and aomoxomoa...and blues for allah is my fav. album by the GD...great work that is overlooked by beauty and workingman's...

I think the GD really has never been recognized in earnest by their contributions to rock and roll by the mainstream certainly, critics and the hall of fame, (yes, they are a hall of fame member) but when in insync got voted in after only being together for about 6 or 7 years , and they weren't touring or recording for the last 4 -5 years , the standard has hit a big low

nice post ashes...I really value it...love to read more of them...

Donnie L.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Aug 25, 2008 1:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Great post!

I really like the 3/29/68 Caboose best. Like you said, Jer seems to be in the same groove as Jan/Feb. The jam has that "swing" thing going. So sublime! Must have been the ballroom.

I'd give anything to hear that cut Born Cross Eyed though, sounds like it was going to be a real barn burner...

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Poster: veblen Date: Aug 25, 2008 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

so I had the question below the other day on the 68-08-23 version and send in the clowns but didn't have any responses...you can also hear a little of it on 08-22...
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68-08-23 the new potato caboose seems to go into send in the clowns at the 5:10 mark or so but sondheim supposedly wrote it in 73. what's up with that?

maybe I am off on the tune, but it sure sounds like jerry's soloing is send in the clowns. even if it isn't it is one extreme version of the song.

the send in the clowns new potato caboose...
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anyway, I have had a weekend full of 68 new potato cabooses and now it looks like it will continue today...I have really come to appreciate the song...thanks...

This post was modified by veblen on 2008-08-25 16:35:42

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2008 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

The first part of the Archive's 8-23-68 is actually the undated 5/68 show.... Anyway, the part that resembles Send in the Clowns I think comes after 6:25, and I'm sure it's just an accidental resemblance.

And it's true, the song comes to seem "normal" after a while....

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Poster: He Live's Date: Aug 25, 2008 8:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

whoa.... may man..... a comprehensive effort, to say the least!


that is A LOT of POTATOES to ingest -- i trust you didn't eat them all in one sitting..... did you? -- this could be their strangest song, the whole thing, from the lyrics to the melodies, "structure" and vibe of the tune. certainly this one was "of its time" and could not carry on into the 70s. like ALLIGATOR, CLEMENTINE, HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE, THE ELEVEN, BORN CROSS EYED, MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON and others, NEW POTATO was just too PSYCHEDELIC and ESOTERIC to persist once the tide had turned and the band was off on their rootsy quest -- it couldn't be any other way.


and man, they were just head and shoulders, more, Miles beyond ALL of the other psychedelic bands -- easily 10 YEARS ahead, as far as IMPROVISATION in rock & roll -- nobody went "OUT THERE" like these guys.




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Poster: Olo Date: Aug 26, 2008 7:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Sure hope Light into Ashes is Caleb... The cat who really wrote this analysis of NPC and appeared at rec.music.gdead
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.gdead/browse_thread/thread/22af063665387efe?hl=en#

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Aug 25, 2008 2:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: New Potato Caboose

Thanks for this. My only experience with live NPC is an Other ones show from washington DC